Entries in Jackie Cameron (138)
(Photos : Karen Edwards Photography)
"The KZN Midlands is renowned for trout fishing..."
Local is lekker - and remember eating fish with a clear conscience is responsible behaviour and makes for a relaxed, indigestion-free meal! Always think green listed. It's the recommended fish from the Sassi (Southern Africa's Sustainable Seafood Initiative) list and is fish sourced from the healthiest and most well-managed populations. Find out more on www.wwf.org.za/sassi. I challenge you to make a difference.
The KZN Midlands is renowned for trout fishing but there are noticeably few interesting, home-cooked combinations on dining room tables. Today we'll look at some simple ideas and tantalising combinations that are quick and easy to whip up at home. Try them - you will be pleasantly surprised.
Let us start off with the most common way of cooking a whole trout. Braaing or oven roasting trout - the cavity filled with fresh herbs and flavouring - makes a relaxed meal for a lazy day at the pool or the dam.
Ideas don't have to be off the wall to be impressive. The slightest ingredient changes can make all the difference. Think creamy-trout cottage pie for a variation of the traditional minced-meat cottage pie. This promises to be an interesting alternative to your normal weekly meals. Serve with a freshly-picked leafy, green salad drizzled with butter-lemon dressing; crunchy, sage leaves and a warm, crisp seed selection. This is healthy - and delicious.
Trout spring rolls are a tasty variation to a theme. I'm a spring-roll fanatic yet so often I feel short changed because the centres are almost empty of ingredients. When making trout spring rolls ensure you are generous with the filling. I always serve them with home-made sweet chilli sauce.
Trout rice salad is a refreshing and scrumptious light-lunch option. The slight spiciness with a touch of sweetness from the raisins complements the trout so well. Remember to include a side serving of lemon wedges.
I struggle to find a good home-made fish cake. The key word is 'home-made'; I will never ever eat those terrible processed fish cakes - so I have to make my own. Serve as a starter with thick garlic mayonnaise or, more traditionally, with silky-smooth potato crème and mushy peas.
When I started at Hartford House trout quiche - with rich, flaky fennel-butter pastry - featured as a side dish to a fish main course. How food has changed over the years! Although culinary trends may have evolved nothing beats a quiche made with love and care. This dish screams savoury richness.
Stir fries take me back to my junior school days. I had a friend, Bryan, and his parents organised a make-your-own-stir-fry birthday party! I was in my element! It was a very novel idea considering there were no cooking shows or Master Chef competitions in those days. Bowls of vegetables, meat, fish, seeds, oil and soya surrounded us and we were all encouraged compile then cook our own stir fries. So clever because children, generally, have different preferences. We all had a blast! And now when I think stir fry, I step back in time to a very happy place. This trout stir-fry recipe, using combinations you can find in your pantry, is tasty, quick and easy.
I wish you happy cooking with one of our local and best fish - the trusty trout.
I am putting the final touches to 'Jackie Cameron Cooks At Home'. Keep a look out for this user-friendly recipe book. It will be on the shelves in April 2013.
GO TO : youtube.com/watch?v=dqyBGtP6rDs FOR A YOUTUBE VIDEO OF ME COOKING TROUT!
Please take these recipes and try them!
Send comments and food-related questions to email@example.com. I always look forward to hearing from you. For the latest on local foodie news add me as a friend on FACEBOOK, find me on Twitter - jackie_cameron and visit my website, www.jackiecameron.co.za.
JC Chef Clothing Range
Extract from Food & Home
Jackie Cameron, exec chef at prestigious Hartford House in the KZN Midlands, has created a super-stylish range of clothing for chefs; the JC Chef Clothing Range.
Jackie and her mom have designed two flattering women's jackets in a slimline fit that are also extremely practical - one with a zip-up front and the other with a mesh back - and both feature a tasting spoon arm pocket. In pure cotton, the designs have been tested by Jackie's all-female kitchen staff.
Stay tuned guys - she is in the process of developing men's jackets too, as the response has been overwhelming.
Howard Booysen Riesling 2011
A lovely story about a young man who, with a passion for the food and beverage industry, has started producing beautiful wines in the Cape.
Howard Booysen worked in the hospitality industry for a few years as waiter and barman, whilst deciding where to study wine. He chose the world-famous Elsenburg Agricultural College (Stellenbosch) where he went on to obtain his B.Agric degree in Cellar Technology and Viticulture. After completing his studies, the Cape Winemakers Guild - a group of 41 independent winemakers - launched a Protégé programme. Howard was selected as their first apprentice to learn the art of making wine.
Howard Booysen explores the different winegrowing areas for the best quality varietals and grapes, and manages these vines accordingly, when sourcing the grapes.
The location of the vines are very important to him, ie. terroir (soil, aspect, climate, trellising, etc.). He nurses the vines by aerating the canopy efficiently and ensures the rot-prone and sunburn-sensitive cultivar receives enough shade. Ample bunches are dropped during the ripening season to ensure delicious concentrations and fruit components. He tastes in the vineyard every other day and samples regularly to determine the average sugar which will later determine the alcohol and, inevitably, the style.
Howard Booysen produces Cinsaut and Riesling.
At Hartford House we love his Riesling, of which the following has been said:
"Howard recently launched his debut wine, a 2010 Weisser Riesling in a "Kabinett-style". Brave, was said by some, but knowing the varietal well, and being passionate about food, aromas, age-able wines, and based in a sunny city, he was convinced that Riesling was what he needed to make."
This german-styled wine works beautifully with Jackie Cameron's Ostrich Tartar which picks up on the flavours Jackie recently enjoyed on her last trip to Germany.
For more information, please visit :
The Hartford Estate smothered in icy powder, August 2012
(Photos : Leigh Willson)
"I found muscles in my body I'd forgotten I had while whisking, kneading and beating, and producing choux pastry for profiteroles for a more-than-a-metrehigh croque-en-bouche with no electricity was no joke."
Driving in the relentless snow through the KwaZulu-Natal Midlands in August showed me just how reliant I was on one of our most widely-used forms of energy - electricity.
The saga began on my return trip from Jo'burg. Usually it's quicker - and easier - to drive from Mooi River rather than to fly from Pietermaritzburg or Durban, but this trip back was a 9 1/2 hour nightmare through the heaviest snow storm I have ever experienced. During the drive home, I experienced such longing for the cosy ambience my home offers with under-floor heating and a warm bed, not knowing that for the next six days I'd be deprived of the luxuries I had come to take for granted. My saving graces that night were three duvets and my cat Mallow.
The next day wasn't much better - the deafening thud of snow from the trees above my cottage falling on to the corrugated iron roof kept me awake most of the night and at sunrise the dawn chill went straight through my bones. However, the biggest challenge for the day ahead wasn't the cold or the lack of sleep and cold - we were low on staff and not only did I have cooking demonstrations and an International Food and Wine Society dinner, but we had the day-to-day kitchen chores to accomplish.
Clad in my chef's whites I stepped out of my house and sunk almost knee deep into the snow. Clearly, this wasn't going to be a day for sissies. After extricating my car from the snow, I eventually arrived at work after midday to find that Hartford House had also suffered the ravages of the snow storm; my sous chef Elaine was late for duty as two trees in her garden had landed on her car.
I was taken back to my training over the next six days when as much as possible had to be done by hand because we had very little electricity. I found muscles in my body I'd forgotten I had while whisking, kneading and beating. And, producing choux pastry for profiteroles for a more-than-a-metrehigh croque-en-bouche with no electricity was no joke.
Everything took so much longer to prepare because time was spent on simple tasks that were normally far quicker with electricity. Thankfully we were incredibly impressed with how successful our gas-cooked scones turned out to be.
To top it all off we had a wedding at Hartford House that weekend - and the bride had chosen an unusual dinner menu with a lot of homely platters of food. Normally our mains wouldn't require an electric oven, but we had hundreds of Yorkshire puddings to make and just before service, the generator died. This took cooking by candlelight to another level. That evening I thought the universe was seriously testing our culinary skills, but we took the challenges and overcame them. We were all working harder, faster and cleverer than before.
The kitchen team was put up at the hotel over the six days but we couldn't even enjoy the five star luxury properly because, with no electricity, we couldn't have a relaxing post-service bath! Having to adhere to a bath-time roster was a small issue really, but by day six we were all desperate to bath in our own homes. A happy chef means happy guests and this irritation was taking its toll on our usually happy kitchen team. You can imagine my joy when finally on day six, the warm glow of lights welcomed me home to my cottage.
The week delivered a record amount of snow for the area, as well as an action-packed, trying time for the Hartford House team. But as we reverted to the basics of cooking and serving, we were glad to have the fundamental principles and techniques of cooking up our sleeves. Clearly, you never know when you may need them.
Extract from Chef! Issue 32